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Teaching Psychology Students to be User Experience Researchers

Keywords: User experience research, applied psychology, human-computer interaction

Published onNov 03, 2021
Teaching Psychology Students to be User Experience Researchers

User experience research (UXR) jobs offer exciting and well-paying career opportunities for psychology students. Upon graduation, students have many of the skills to be UXRs, including understanding and knowledge of 1) user characteristics and individual differences 2) relationships between user and task characteristics, 3) operationalization and measurement of concepts, 4) interpretation of observations, and 5) research ethics; those with graduate training possess even deeper understanding of these areas. However, psychology students may lack other skills and knowledge necessary to perform the duties of a UXR, including familiarity with: 1) common UXR methods, 2) application of psychological concepts and theories to technology, 3) software development and user experience design methods and processes, and 4) constraints of conducting research in applied environments.

In this symposia we will 1) define UXR and its relevant concepts, including an overview of the skills that psychology students have and those that they need, 2) discuss the role of UXR in industry, and 3) overview approaches, benefits and challenges to including UXR in teaching, including presentation of example projects. Panel attendees will leave with an understanding of both the values and pathways for psychology students towards roles as UXRs. Attendees will also have opportunities to expand their own knowledge of UXR and see examples of how to bring this information to their students. Attendees will have chances to share their ideas and questions during the live session.

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